India

PU governance reforms: Senate asks registrar to withdraw V-C’s affidavit

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A week after the Panjab University syndicate revoked its powers assigned to vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover after he refused to withdraw his affidavit submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court suggesting governance reforms, the issue led to a five-hour heated debate in the senate.

The senate asked the V-C to withdraw the affidavit, but he refused. Finally, the senate unanimously decided that the registrar should be directed to approach the court to withdraw the affidavit filed by Grover and file a fresh affidavit.

The varsity is governed by the senate, comprising elected members as well as those nominated by the Vice-President of India, who is the varsity chancellor. Day-to-day affairs are taken care of by the executive body called syndicate, where those from the senate are elected for a year.

Four months before his retirement, Grover on April 17 had submitted an affidavit in the HC stating that the university’s governing structure needed “serious reforms”. Taking note, the court had put the Centre on notice.

The affidavit stated that groupism in the 91-member PU senate has reached such a sorry state that discussions do not happen on merit and factionalism prevails. It also put a question mark on elections for deans of faculties and graduate constituency of the senate.

In its meeting on April 21, the 15-member syndicate had asked the V-C to withdraw the affidavit as he had not consulted it before submitting the document. After the V-C refused and said he will inform the court that the affidavit was submitted in his personal capacity, the syndicate on April 29 withdrew the powers delegated to him.

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